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Today is a very sad day. I left home today for a short drive, and just out of neighborhood trans started to slip as I tried to accelerate. Turned around to limp home, and then to my horror saw my driveway with pools of tranny fluid. Back in driveway, I opened hood and fluid was sprayed over front engine mount, lower engine block and tranny, and radiator and lower engine bay shroud. It is too dark, cold and windy for me to climb under it tonight. Any guesses on this catastrophe and what blew? Any odds on my tranny not needing replacement? Clearly it cannot be driven.

Oh, the fluid was clear and has been replaced regularly - no mix of trans fluid and coolant.

:frown: :surprise: :crying:
 

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Most likely your radiator needs to be replaced. The trans lines could have failed going into the radiator and or transmission cooler. Not uncommon. If you did not drive too far, the transmission itself should be fine. Keep us posted and good luck.
 

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Sounds like a cooler line. Probably need that line and depending on where it broke maybe a radiator. You might get lucky and just need to replace the failed pieces and put tranny fluid in. You wont know the extent of the damage until you try to drive it.
 

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2006 Ridgeline RTS in Steel Blue
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Today is a very sad day. I left home today for a short drive, and just out of neighborhood trans started to slip as I tried to accelerate. Turned around to limp home, and then to my horror saw my driveway with pools of tranny fluid. Back in driveway, I opened hood and fluid was sprayed over front engine mount, lower engine block and tranny, and radiator and lower engine bay shroud. It is too dark, cold and windy for me to climb under it tonight. Any guesses on this catastrophe and what blew? Any odds on my tranny not needing replacement? Clearly it cannot be driven.

Oh, the fluid was clear and has been replaced regularly - no mix of trans fluid and coolant.

:frown: :surprise: :crying:


I guess my only question is, as highlighted above "and then to my horror saw my driveway with pools of tranny fluid" was this on the driveway before you pulled the Ridgeline on to it, meaning it was there when you left but didn't notice it or is this what happened when you returned, once in park/shutting down the vehicle.

If it was me, I'd replace the radiator, refill with the correct fluids and drive, the fact that you were "feeling" the trans slipping is my only concern. I may also pull the transmission drain plug and sample that, sent to a lab to ensure coolant wasn't in the ATF. If so I'd do 4 to 5 drain and fill's of the transmission.


Here are most of the related Radiator and Transmission threads if you haven't found them all.

Good luck

Radiator Failure @ Cooler Lines

Best Radiator Replacement

Pictures of Corroded/Rusted Radiator Fittings

Radiator Fail on 2006

UOA on ATF

Anatomy of OEM Denso Radiator

Poll(Never Posted) on Radiator/Trans Cooler Solution

Recent Radiator/Transmission SMOD!!!

Radiator comparison: Denso/Spectra/OSC
 

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2007 Nimbus Grey Metallic RTL
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Order and aftermarket Silla, Koyo or Spectra radiator now. You're going to need it. Pull the radiator cap and look in the coolant overflow reservoir to ensure the fluid is still blue. If you didn't have any mixing of the two fluids whatsoever, consider yourself VERY lucky. If you only drove a little ways with very low tranny fluid, you're likely ok. Do not even start the truck until the radiator is replaced. If you can't DIY, have it towed via flatbed. Use ONLY Honda tranny fluid and coolant when refilling.
 

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Bullet dodged !!! Yeah for me!

Tranny is fine ... Replaced radiator, filled with fluids. Tested. Shifts normal, all gears.

Turns out my mechanic has a Honda Pilot. He was unaware of this problem. He checked his Pilot, and it was badly corroded too. So he has dodged a bullet, too. I forgot to ask him if the tranny fluid was cooled by the Pilot's radiator, but I suspect it does.

Also turns out my RL had the towing package, with the tranny cooler. I think that may have save my tranny and kept some fluid in the tranny while I limped home.
 

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Bullet dodged !!! Yeah for me!

Tranny is fine ... Replaced radiator, filled with fluids. Tested. Shifts normal, all gears.

Turns out my mechanic has a Honda Pilot. He was unaware of this problem. He checked his Pilot, and it was badly corroded too. So he has dodged a bullet, too. I forgot to ask him if the tranny fluid was cooled by the Pilot's radiator, but I suspect it does.

Also turns out my RL had the towing package, with the tranny cooler. I think that may have save my tranny and kept some fluid in the tranny while I limped home.
Very glad to hear everything seems to have worked out. As an aside, all 1st gen RL's have an external transmission fluid cooler located on the front side of the radiator. There is no specific towing package other than adding a hitch which wasn't standard until 2009. The part inside the radiator is a fluid transfer unit which not only aids in cooling on very hot days, but also aids in warming the tranny fluid from cold so that the fluid gets to optimum temperature as quickly as possible. This design isn't specific to the RL or to Honda, for that matter. I would highly suggest doing a few more drains and fills of the transmission fluid over the next few weeks just to ensure there is no coolant contamination. Even a little bit in the system for an extended period of time will cause unnecessary damage to the clutch/gear surfaces.
 
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